Living Large – Healthy Living Starts With Education
The holidays have passed and so have the accompanying sloth-like routines that we carried through January, including a Super Bowl weekend of indulgence. Now its time to (really) get started on those resolutions for fitness and health. This is a topic that has bothered me for years. So many of us are not happy with our bodies, whether its the holiday weight (from Christmas 2008!), lack of muscle tone, freshmen 15, post pregnancy or post paternity! The bothersome part is that so many people do not educate themselves about the very basics of nutrition and exercise. For instance, how many of you can even name the four food groups, something we learned in grammar school? It’s not that easy, is it? Obesity and malnutrition start as educational issues before they become motivational issues.
Americans have no idea what they are suppose to eat on a daily or weekly basis, or how little we really need to exercise to prevent being overweight. We will put ANYTHING in our mouths, like an infant playing with a set of keys, its downright embarrassing. We have become the Roman Empire, getting fat off our riches and conveniences. Nobody looks at that latte or banana bread at Starbucks for what they really are – crack, heroin, poison! We just waddle up to the counter like sheep every morning and open our wallets and our mouths. I’m not being political when I say there are so many good things in ObamaCare about fast food regulations, and its about time. Fast food restaurants should have to pay a huge local tax that goes straight to the nearest hospital. Ever notice that you don’t see Ronald McDonald any more? No more marketing fast food to kids – its about time!
Lets start the education process right now. Hear me in the cheap seats – please! There are things put in front of us every day that are not food. The packages may indicate it’s food, it may taste good and it may be served with a smile, but it is not food damnit! So stop putting it in your mouth, like an infant. Understand there are companies selling consumable products to make a profit. They want to make their products taste good by using the cheapest ingredients. For instance, the photo below is not ice cream, or frozen yogurt, its Chicken McNuggets !! They take government rejected chicken and grind it up with beaks, feet, bones and a bunch of chemicals and put it on a menu. We Americans then feed it to our children, with a Coke! Yep, we are the dumbest country in the nation, as George Bush would say.
Here is another misunderstanding. Many people avoid exercise because they think they must lift weights or go running or biking or engage in strenuous activity several times per week. Most people only need to walk for 30 minutes a day to avoid weight gain and stay moderately fit. Talk to your doctor or fitness instructor and come up with your daily exercise plan, who knows some day it might save your life. It will certainly save your livelihood.
Here are some other snack items to get you started. These are the utmost basic principles every person should understand about nutrition and fitness.
- Read Labels – Read the label before you put it in your mouth, no exceptions.
- Caloric Count – Understand how many calories you are suppose to eat on a daily basis and do the math, daily. This gets real easy after awhile.
- Exercise – Its a fact. There is no way around this. You don’t have to be a fiend, but do something 3-4 times per week. Like I said, a 30 min walk per day mixed with basic nutrition is a Great Start!
- Restaurants Are Not Your Friend – Especially the high end ones. Order off the menu. All restaurants will bring you a piece of chicken or fish with some grilled vegetables.
- Breakfast Of Champions- This is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism that has been dormant all night. Eat protein and fiber in the morning if you do nothing else.
- Proper Snacking – There are so many really good and healthy snacks out there. Research them, its fun, and put them in your cupboard, because you are going snack. Its OK to snack.
- Detox – Understanding detox is important. You are going stray from your diet, it happens. You are going to out with your friends and get bombed ! Its fun ! The next morning you don’t need a greasy breakfast – you need fruit, fiber, and more fruit. Get that shit out of you, literally. If you tear the body down, you owe it to yourself to build it back up and detox is the first step.
- Body Types – Everyone has a different body type and metabolism. Don’t get caught up comparing your body to someone else. Compare it to when you were happy about the way you looked. Some people just don’t gain weight and can eat anything. It doesn’t mean they are healthy.
- Get Started – Treat this like continuing education, its fun, eye opening and essential for a happy life. You are not on a diet where you are making sacrifices, you are changing your eating habits permanently. I have often said that the most useful course I took at Syracuse University was Nutrition 101. In fact it was the only useful knowledge I gained, in the classroom any way. I’m still waiting for 5 semesters of calculus to pop up in my life somewhere?!?! OK, I digress.. sorry!
You don’t need to take a class, just start reading – labels, magazines, blogs! You will pick up on the common principles of diet and exercise quickly because they are repeated in every medium. The facts do not change. Hell, watch the Biggest Loser on television, I find that show to be informative, inspiring and entertaining. I get really excited for the contestants that make it. They get their bodies, lives, confidence and their family back. It’s good stuff.
If there is someone in your life that needs a kick in the ass, please forward this to them by clicking on the SEND link above. USA Today ran an article a few months ago indicating that by 2030 almost 50% of the country will be at least 30lbs overweight. Clearly it’s time to leave the party, or buffet. We have been here for a long time. Lets get back to reality, we are too damn smart not to.
Good Luck and Thank You For Reading !